How to Enforce Payments from Customers without Seeming Forceful
When customers pay late, this can inevitably lead to problems down the line where your cash flow is concerned. But enforcing payment without seeming forceful is a fine line to tread, especially if you don’t want to lose customers in the process. Here are some helpful tips from BA, Inc. on how to handle late customer payments empathetically.
Try not to overreact
Granted, receiving late payments is frustrating, to say the least. However, it is vital not to let your emotions get the better of you, which could make you sound annoyed over the phone. Instead, try not to overreact by approaching the subject with sensitivity to help your customers come around on their own.
Explain in detail
Many times, late payments could result from customers simply forgetting to pay on time. Regardless of whether they forgot to pay or they are experiencing financial difficulties, it’s important that you explain exactly what the situation is so that your customers don’t feel like you are hounding them for trivial matters.
Don’t be too pushy
Once you’ve made known your intentions, try not to push too much if you don’t want to alienate your customer even further. Instead, try to be somewhat lenient so that they don’t feel overly pressurized to make a payment right away, which might end up adding insult to injury as it is. Instead, try to be gentle but firm in your approach, as this may be what wins them over at the end of the day.
One way to appeal to customers to make early payments is to offer incentives in return for them paying early. This may help to alleviate the financial burden on them somewhat and should also give them a more favorable perception of your business, knowing that you’re willing to go above and beyond to keep your customers happy.
Stipulate the payment terms
One way to prevent bad relationships from occurring in the first place is to stipulate the payment terms clearly with a contract that lists all the terms and conditions of your agreements, including details such as the applicable dates from when the contract is signed to when it ends, what the payment terms are and on which criteria the contract can be terminated.
Create an invoicing system that works
Of course, you will need to implement an invoicing system that works effectively for you to expect payment on time. An online invoice generator can assist you with this, allowing you to create professional-looking invoices in a fraction of the time. Furthermore, you can personalize your invoices with your company logo, brand colors, etc., together with payment terms and conditions. Once done, be sure to invoice immediately when invoices become due to prevent delaying the process even further. Additionally, you may want to consider accepting a variety of payment methods so that you can facilitate the payment process even more effectively.
Speaking of making the payment process easier
If your customer does pay late, you might want to make the payment process easier for them so that they can pay what they owe (and more if they want to) without incurring late payment penalty fees. It’s small acts like these that can make the difference between holding on to a valued customer and losing them to your competition.
At the end of the day, while it may not always be easy to accept late payments graciously, it is vital to be empathetic to your customer’s needs by making the payment process easier for them if you don’t want to risk losing them altogether.